By: Maram Al-Abassi
While most universities around the world arrange and fund graduation ceremonies for their graduates, at Sana’a University the situation is quite different. The university doesn’t fund or arrange any such ceremony. Rather, graduates prepare a committee and arrange a celebration for themselves.
At the beginning of their last year at the college, soon-to-be graduates from committees to take care all arrangements, including the tracking down of funds for the holding of ceremonies.
“It’s supposed to be funded and arranged by the university,” Bushra Al-Garadi, a graduate, complained.
At the same time, others let the university off the hook. “There’s no budget,” said Dr. Murad Al-Azzany, a lecturer in the Education Faculty.
Mona Al-Shawafi agreed, adding, “The government has no budget to supply needs, and graduation ceremonies are luxuries.”
Another issue concerns the matter of partisanship, which leads to many conflicts amongst students. Some faculties see two or more ceremonies, with each ceremony being held for followers of different political parties. “
Sara, a graduate, said, “It’s a shame that we separate in the last year in a partisan way. These political groups in colleges want to take charge of graduation ceremonies. By doing this, they gain power, recognition and fame.”
Sabolah Ali also pointed towards partisanship, saying “It destroys everything and makes it so hard on colleagues to feel happy and equal during such a significant occasion.”
Many view the ceremonies simply as parties. “The students should graduate at the campus, where they belong, among their teachers,” said Dr. Al-Bakili, a lecturer at Sana’a University. “The people who taught graduates and witnessed their progress should attend the ceremony and congratulate the graduates,” he added.
At graduation ceremonies, graduates are not yet sure whether they passed or failed. “Only graduates who’ve passed exams should participate in these ceremonies,” said Al-Garadi. “What if a student didn’t pass, when he has already graduated?” Al-Shawafi wondered aloud.
The situation at other universities is very different. These graduation ceremonies are funded and arranged by university staff. Additionally, they are held after students have learned whether or not they have completed their studies and are cleared to graduate.
In this time of change, many students feel that Sana’a University should set limits and follow certain standards to make the graduation process official and academically sound. They say several ceremonies for different groups of students shouldn’t be allowed, as they represent an inappropriate end to their university lives.